Mulla Sadra defined hikmah as "coming to know the essence of beings as they really are" or as "a man's becoming an intellectual world corresponding to the objective world". Various Islamic commentaries describe hikmah as "to know the best of things by way of the best of sciences ...", having experience, using "justice in judging", "knowledge of the reality of things", "that which prevents ignorance," putting "things in their proper places, assigning them to their proper status", etc. According to Ibn al-Qayyim, the highest and most exclusive of the three levels of hikmah are "reserved for the Companions over the rest of the Ummah, and it is the highest level that the [Islamic] scholars can reach."
As a term of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Taqi Usmani describes it as meaning "the wisdom and the philosophy taken into account by the legislator while framing the [Islamic] law or the benefit intended to be drawn by [the law's] enforcement". One Dr Dipertua calls it "the objectives and wisdom" as "prescribed by Shariah".
Usmani gives as an example the secular law for traffic lights, where illat (another term of fiqh meaning "the basic feature of a transaction that causes relevant law to be applied") is obedience to stopping at red lights, and hikmah is traffic safety—avoiding vehicle and pedestrian collisions.
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- Wehr, Hans (1961). Cowan, J. Milton (ed.). A DIctionary of Modern Written Arabic, Arabic-English (1980 ed.). MacDonald & Evans Ltd. p. 197.
- Cooper, John (1998). "Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Din Muhammad al-Shirazi) (1571/2-1640)". In Craig, Edward (ed.). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 6. London; New York: Routledge. pp. 595–599. ISBN 978-0415073103 – via Islamic Philosophy Online.
- Ibn Mandhur. Lisan al-'Arab. pp. 15/30.
- al-Asma'i. as-Sihah. pp. 5/1901.
- Taj al-'Arus'. pp. 8/353.
- Ibn Faris's. Mu'jam Maqayis al-Lughah. pp. 2/91.
- Taysir al-Karim ar-Rahman. pp. 1/233.
- Asyraf Wajdi Bin Dato’ Hj. Dusuki Yang Dipertua. "The Challenge of Realizing Maqasid Shariah in Islamic Finance" (PDF). iais.org.my. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- Usmani, Muhammad Taqi (December 1999). The Historic Judgment on Interest Delivered in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (PDF). Karachi, Pakistan: albalagh.net., paras 119-120
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